The Ford F-150 has been the best selling vehicle in North America since well before I was born - and I'm quite old now.
The reason for its success has been one of constant evolution. Ford hasn't been standing around and watching what others are doing - they've been innovating to keep the F-150 ahead of the competition.
Their current base spec motor, is in a class of its own, and that's the vehicle I tested recently.
Ford was the first company to offer a mass-produced turbocharged pickup truck, when it introduced a 3.5L EcoBoost motor in the F-150 a number of years ago. Now, they're the first to not offer a normally-aspirated gasoline motor as a base engine, and have given the base F-150 a new, 2.7L EcoBoost motor, and I think, this is the best motor I've ever experienced in any pickup truck.
This new motor features two turbochargers, which give it 325 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. The turbos spool up quickly, and shoot you down the road at speeds you just don't expect from a big pickup truck. This, is a very satisfying vehicle to drive.
There are other advantages to the smaller, turbocharged motor as well - since this engine is lighter than any other motor offered by Ford for the F-150, the power to weight ratio puts it quite close to that of the larger, more powerful versions of this vehicle - and thanks to the lighter nose, it handles better than most trucks too.
It can tow and haul like a big engine truck also - pulling 8,400 lbs. and able to carry another 2,160 lbs in its truck bed - that is impressive.
So, it seems like it is a win-win for this 2.7L EcoBoost F-150. Almost, but it's not perfect. The thing is, this motor is less about Eco, and more about Boost. That reflected in my fuel economy. This thing drinks fuel like a... truck. On the highway, I was guzzling about 11.7L/100km, but in the city, my average had fallen down to 17.5L/100km. My 300 km city and highway combined average was 14.8L/100km - which in today's world, is quite high. For a 4x4 version like my tester, Ford says it can achieve a combined of 12.1L/100km, but that is a lab figure, and will not likely get duplicated in the real world - unless you're a hyper miler.
I am actually fine with its thirst, because this motor is always willing to get up and hurl you down the road. This truck is fun to drive, and I can't think of many other pickups that are. Think of it as a sports truck, that can also do some tough work.
My only other complaint with it - from a driving perspective - was with its four-wheel drive system. Put it in 4H (four-wheel drive high) and not only does the vehicle sound very coarse, but the steering feels very restrictive. For 99% of the time, I just kept it in two-wheel drive mode.
An area where the F-150 really excels in is comfort. This is a quiet vehicle, which makes highway travel quite relaxing. It is also a spacious vehicle, and has lots of storage spaces for all the things you'd likely wanna carry in a vehicle. It is an easy vehicle to live with for the most part - parking it is a bit of a pain, but you'd expect that.
It looks good, too. The F-150 might be a common sight, but it can still catch others attention.
The best part, is possibly the price. The base, 2016 F-150 is yours from $25,299. My tester was very well equipped, so was worth quite a bit more, but the important thing is, thanks to a low starting price, you can choose how to dress up your truck, and give it the things you want.
I think, thanks to this new, base motor, the F-150 will remain the best selling vehicle, for the foreseeable future.